Transcript for William McNiel autobiography, McNiel family information, circa 1974
When I reached Omaha a train from Utah composed of oxen and wagons was there to meet the crew I was traveling with. The captain of the train was Bishop William Hyde, the early Bishop of Hyde Park, Utah.
After the wagons were loaded, we left for Utah, but they were loaded so heavy there was no room for men to ride and very little room for the women. As we traveled over the plains I often seen herds of buffalo traveling from the summer to the winter range. Our train was stopped at times to permit the buffalo to pass as they were so numerous.
It was on this rough journey crossing the plains in a loaded wagon drawn by oxen over creeks, and rivers without bridges, that my good wife gave birth to our first baby boy. And as we journeyed on some days later the indians, called the red skins, were seen at a distance, the dust rising as if they were coming toward the train. Orders were given to pull under the brow of the hill so as to conceal the wagons at the Platte river bank. The result was that the wagon my wife was in, tipped over on both mother and babe. The mother was rescued from under the load but was so badly hurt that she remained forever an invalid. The baby boy was not harmed by the accident but the mother could not nurse or care for the baby so it died and was buried on the plains.
I arrived in Salt Lake October 27, 1864 and remained there for the winter.